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Meet the Board

The Board of Trustees



Lowell Williams

Lowell has a distinguished career in further education spanning the past 30 years.  He led South Leicestershire College to Ofsted outstanding and Beacon Award status in June 2007, and became Principal of Dudley College in March 2008.  

Chief Executive Officer of Dudley College until December 2019, Lowell is currently  Chair of the Board of Trustees of the  Dudley Academies Trust, a multi academy trust comprising four local secondary schools, sponsored by Dudley College, which commenced operations in September 2017.  During his tenure at Dudley College, Lowell previously led the organisation  through three successful Ofsted inspections, culminating in the award of ‘outstanding’ in 2017.

Lowell also represents educational providers as a member of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and chairs the Further Education Skills and Productivity Group for the West Midlands region.  Lowell is a Fellow of the Institute of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange.  In addition, Lowell chairs the AoC Devolution and Responsiveness Policy Group and is a member of the HS2 Jobs and Skills Regional Task Group.

In 2017, Lowell was immensely proud to be awarded the title Principal of the Year at the Education Awards 2017.

/media/about/library/140704_230_belford_picture.jpgDeputy Chair

Dr. Paul Belford

Paul is a professional archaeologist with particular enthusiasm for public and community engagement. He has over 20 years' experience of managing archaeology and cultural heritage projects in the UK & overseas, and considerable experience in the work of educational charities. His research interests include ferrous industries, industrial society and workers' housing.

/media/about/library/j_d5a_6829-custom.jpgJonathan Badyal

Jonathan is Head of Communications at Universal Music UK, where he works across all aspects of the company’s internal and external communications. He is also on the Board of the Roundhouse. 

He previously spent five years advising former Culture & Digital Economy Minister Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, and his successor, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP on policy and communications. 

His passion for music came to the fore during his time working at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Although knowledgeable and well connected across every facet of British culture, from film to fine art, he became a vocal champion of British music, and especially British urban music. 

Jonathan grew up in Wolverhampton and was educated at Heath Park and Wolverhampton Grammar School. He studied Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham before going on to study a Masters in Political Science.

Trustee Katy BakerKaty Baker

Katy is Director of Services at Oaks Consultancy, a Birmingham-based business consultants who specialise in supporting organisations with a social purpose with strategy, business planning and income generation.  Katy has over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, including many years experience as a Youth Worker, working with some of the country's most disadvantaged young people.  Previous roles include Managing Director at Summit House Support, Regional Manager at UpRising, Regional Partnership Manager at UK Youth, and Programme Manager for Catch 22.

Born in Birmingham, Katy actually grew up in rural Wales and now lives in the Black Country.  Katy's family are all from the Midlands – her grandfather was born in Dudley and worked as a jeweller in the city's jewellery quarter.  Katy has a History degree and an MBA in Strategic Management from Aston Business School.  Katy is also a trustee for Aston University's Students Union.


/media/about/library/duncan-bedhall-6.jpgDuncan Bedhall

Duncan is Partner & Head of Commercial Property at Fisher German, specialising in industrial and office properties, commercial property investment, and strategic portfolio advice. He studied at Oxford Polytechnic and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1990.

Duncan has deep roots in the Black Country, coming from a family of chain makers from Cradley Heath. His interests include British history, motorbikes and sailing. He is also a local Committee member of the Young Farmers Club.

/media/about/library/parminder-dosanjh-custom.jpgParminder Dosanjh 

Parminder, Creative Director at Creative Black Country, has been designing and developing audience development initiatives for over fifteen years.  

Since graduating in Arts Management and Fine Art, Parminder has introduced innovative ways of working across sectors and has catalyst impressive collaborations. She has commissioned pioneering arts projects locally, nationally and internationally with the BBC, managed Arts Council England national portfolio organisations, and has produced projects with the Victoria and Albert Museum, Radio 4, The Leicester Haymarket Theatre (now the CURVE), the New York Asia Society, and several UK leading artists.  She is passionate about arts and broadcast and likes a good story.


/media/about/library/img_2040.pngCouncillor Matt Follows

Councillor Matt Follows joins the Board as the representative for the Association of Black Country Authorities (ABCA). 

Matt has been a local Councillor for Bloxwich West in Walsall since 2015, championing his hometown and promoting local heritage.  He has helped lead various projects including launching the official Bloxwich Flag and promoting the town’s historical features and green spaces. 

Matt is a member of Walsall Museums and Art Galleries Development Trust, supporting The New Art Gallery in Walsall.  

He holds an MA in Contemporary History from the University of Birmingham. 


/media/about/library/nicola-harding-photo2.jpgNicola Harding 

Nicky has 18 years’ experience in Museum and Exhibition Design, implementation and education.  She has a keen interest in the development of the visitor experience within museums, expanding this interest through her current teaching role in Interior Design at De Montfort University by directing live projects with students and providing specialist knowledge in Museum and Exhibition design. 

Nicky previously worked as a Senior Project Designer at Haley Sharpe Design in Leicester, followed by a freelance design role at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Galleries whilst studying for her Masters in Museum Studies.

Nicky holds an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and BA (Hons) in Museum & Exhibition Design from the University of Lincoln and is currently studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education to support her teaching practice.


/media/about/library/vikki-jessop-webphoto.jpgVictoria Jessop

Victoria is the Art Handling Manager at Christie's, where she oversees their team of technicians and is responsible for the movement/installation of artworks onsite.

Before this, she worked at The British Museum (2014-20), where she managed the galleries, loans and exhibitions for the department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan.  Her previous experience included the V&A Museum, Whitechapel Gallery and a number of other institutions.

With a decade of technical experience dealing with sculpture and exhibition construction, she is passionate about encouraging women to pursue technical-based careers in museums, and has lectured extensively about this at universities across the UK.

Victoria grew up in Stourbridge and worked at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham prior to relocating to London in 2011.  She is enthusiastic about sport and has fenced internationally for several years.  In her spare time, she is also a Run Director for parkrun UK and is currently studying Art Law.


Ruth Levesley/media/about/library/ruth-levesley-webphoto.jpg

Ruth is the Chief Executive of Relate Birmingham, a local charity providing services to help people have better relationships and improved wellbeing.  Ruth is responsible for overall service delivery across the West Midlands and South Staffordshire and has many years’ experience of charity management including setting up new services, partnership working and income generation.  She is passionate about ensuring services are accessible to all.

She has a keen interest in history and heritage and studied the Industrial Revolution as part of her history degree.  She enjoys going to historical places and events, especially those that bring history to life and is a regular visitor to the Black Country Living Museum.


/media/about/library/160309_230_nick_loveland_pic1.jpgNick Loveland

Nick is currently Chief Operating Officer of Performances Birmingham Ltd (PBL), the charitable trust that operates Birmingham’s Town Hall and Symphony Hall, where he has led on cultural transformation following a major staffing restructure, introduced a large number of initiatives to the catering offer (increasing income by 40%), and is the primary point of contact for new trustees. 

Nick has worked for Symphony Hall Birmingham and PBL since 1991, and was the only member of the former senior management team to be offered a senior role in the new organisational structure.  He also project managed the refurbishment of Birmingham Town Hall, developed PBL’s environmental strategy and is currently developing PBL’s five year organisational business plan. 

Nick was appointed to the Environmental Leadership Group of Julie’s Bicycle (via Arts Council England) in June 2015 and is an appointed Director of Birmingham  Westside Business Improvement District. Nick became Chair of the Museum’s Enterprise Company in July 2016. 


Catherine Murphy/media/about/library/catherine-murphy-webphoto.jpg

Catherine is currently the Audience Analyst at the Natural History Museum in London and has been working in the field of audience development and marketing for almost ten years.  Prior to this she worked at The Audience Agency where she helped launch the Audience Finder programme working with hundreds of arts organisations across the country to collect data and develop deep insights about UK arts audiences.

Catherine holds an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and a BA (hons) in History from the University of Sheffield.  Growing up in Birmingham she has always had a keen interest in the history of the West Midlands and is particularly keen on widening public engagement with history and the arts.

/media/about/library/christine-perks-custom-custom.jpg Councillor Christine Perks

Christine retired from a career in the NHS and Social Services to become a Councillor for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Amblecote Ward (where she was lead for ‘Amblecote in Bloom’).  She has been Councillor for Netherton, Woodside and St Andrews Ward since 2012. 

Christine has been a trustee of the Netherton Regeneration Group since its inception in 2000, and a member of the Friends of Netherton Park, also since 2000.  She is passionate about community improvements and environmental projects. 

Christine has also been an active volunteer since 1980; working with children and adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, as a youth worker, as a Friend of the Black Country Living Museum and as a member of the Netherton Tenants and Residents Association and Community Forum.  She is also a School Governor at Northfield Road Primary School, Netherton. 

Christine’s personal interests include gardening, local history and archaeology. 

/media/about/library/131007_230_mike_williams.jpgMike S Williams

Mike Williams has been associated with the Museum for about eighteen years.

Now semi-retired, Mike was employed as Director of Finance at Dudley MBC for over fifteen years, and prior to that held senior finance positions with Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands County Council.

With a wide range of personal interests, he is also a Board Member of the Midlands Arts Centre, a Trustee of the Chamberlain Highbury Trust, a member of the Board of Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Chair of Warwickshire Cricket Board, and Trustee of a local charity.


Did you know?

interesting fact image

When the museum was first built, only the canal, limekilns and mine shafts were here - along with a disused sewage works.



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